Solidarity with exploited workers- UNITE
2018 Eastern regional Conference passed the following motion.
Conference recognises that conventional wisdom says that young, exploited and insecure workers are not motivated by trade unionism or politics. Two recent examples show this to be a myth.
The massive turnout amongst young people at the 2017 General Election showed that, when political parties take those people and their issues seriously then they will respond in kind, both in terms of campaigning and at the ballot box.
Further, recent events show that there is an increasing demand for those people to be heard in their workplace. Our comrades in McDonalds, in Cambridge and elsewhere, showed that they were not prepared to continue to be exploited by a wealthy multinational in their fight for justice and dignity at work.
Another good example is at TGI Friday where the employer has callously stolen 40% of card tips given to waiting staff without any consultation with those affected. Those employees are often reliant on tips to pay their bills and get by. The theft of these tips has been in order to top up inadequately paid kitchen staff who have been denied a decent pay rise in years – in other words, rob one group of poorly paid workers to ‘reward’ another group of poorly paid workers.
We express unreserved support and solidarity with the TGI Friday’s workers who have joined Unite and taken a series of strike actions across the UK to defend their hard won tips; as we do with all other low paid insecure workers trying to organise and fight back against exploitative employers.
Trade union organising among these areas of the economy must be supported both industrially and politically. To this end, we welcome the new era of strengthened links between trade unions and the Labour Party. It is in the interests of our movement that we give a strong voice to young workers (like the TGI Friday strikers) so we can organise and politicise people who historically may have felt neither unions nor the Labour Party cared about or represented their interests.
We would like to extend a formal message of solidarity to those workers and urge conference to support this motion to defend similar disputes for fair pay with fair terms and conditions for young workers in all sectors and to promote the benefits of trade union membership and collectivism, as widely as possible.